07 Dec Christmas Expectations During COVID
by Christy Johnson, Director of Communications
“For to us, a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
As Christmas approaches, the word expectation has been on my heart. As is true with many, the expectations I have had for the year 2020 have been shaken and shattered. Everything I have anticipated and known, everything “normal” has been turned upside down and I find myself living a life that was completely unexpected, full of cancellations, missed visits with family, disappointments, fear, and constant talk of a virus that a year ago I had never heard of. Yet, it is the Christmas story that speaks softly to my soul. It whispers to me of how God does not use the expected ways to tell His story.
Long before Christ arrived, His coming was prophesied. Those prophecies brought about expectations on what His coming would be like. But with His arrival, those expectations shattered. Nothing was as expected.
A young, lowly, single woman was chosen to be His mother. That choosing shattered Mary’s expectations on what her life would be like. It threw her into disgrace and life looked nothing like she thought it would.
He was born in a manger among the animals. There was dirt and feces all around Him. Hardly the arrival expected of the Savior. Yet, the Prince of Peace arrived surrounded by the dirt and brokenness of the world, cradled in the arms of a woman who gave up her expectations and worldly reputation to bring forth the promised Son.
Jesus didn’t come as everyone expected. He didn’t arrive in grander. He wasn’t mighty to the world’s standards; he was humble and weak. While completely innocent, He was born to suffer scorn and abuse, to be broken and killed for you and I. God used the unexpected to bring forth His story of amazing love: the virgin mother, the manger birth, abuse, scorn, and finally the cross. He shattered the expectations everyone had of a Savior.
It is through that unexpectedness that I find hope. By Jesus being and doing the unexpected, I have faith that he will do the unexpected with my story. He takes those broken plans, those bitter disappointments, that gnawing fear, and makes them lovely. He calls forth beauty from the ashes. The expectation I can find through the Christmas story is that Jesus will work in unexpected ways in my life. My life may not look the way I expect but if I trust Him, He will make it beautiful nonetheless.